Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Women of Steel - Sheffield Star Walk

THE Star Walk is making a comeback and we want you to step out and take part in a bid to help raise £150,000 for a Women Of Steel statue.
The sculpture will stand in Sheffield city centre as a permanent memorial to the city’s inspiring women who worked the steel mills during two world wars.
The statue, featuring two of the women stading shoulder to shoulder, will be given pride of place outside Sheffield City Hall.
The unique sculpture has been designed by world renowned artist Martin Jennings, most famous for his John Betjeman statue at St Pancras Station in London.
And today we are bringing back The Star Walk to kick off a major fundraising campaign to raise the £150,000 needed to complete the statue.
We want to encourage as many Sheffielders as possible to take part in the event, which is being staged in Hillsborough Park on Sunday, April 28.
Kit Sollitt, aged 93, has been one of the leading forces behind our Women of Steel campaign – taking the appeal for official recognition to Downing Street and to the Ministry of Defence.
She said: “I’m so happy our efforts in the steel factories are finally being recognised.
“Seventy years later it is about time we were recognised, and this is for all the Women of Steel including the many thousands who are no longer with us.
“I’m so happy the statue is on its way and I’m looking forward to seeing the end product.”
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore added: “We all owe it to these amazing women to make the statue a reality.
“I’m calling on everyone out there to do what they can to help us raise money, do The Star Walk, have a bake sale, sit in a bath of beans, or just donate.
“It doesn’t matter what you do, we just want to you to get behind these wonderful women.”
Other fundraising plans are also in the pipeline for later in the year including a major concert at Sheffield City Hall.
The Star Walk quickly became a city institution when racers first took their marks in 1922.
It attracted huge crowds and was one of the highlights of the Sheffield calendar.
It hasn’t taken place since 2000 - but now we are bringing a version of it back, to raise money for The Women of Steel statue.
And we want as many readers as possible to take part.
The Star Walk 2013 is just one mile long so that as many of the Women of Steel themselves, who are now in their late 80s and 90s, can join in.
It is open to all ages and will be a great day out for all the family.
The walk takes place in Hillsborough Park, starting and finishing at Hillsborough Arena, known locally as The Old Running Track.
The four women who have been leading the campaign - Kathleen Roberts, Kit Sollitt, Ruby Gascoigne and Dorothy Slingsby - are vowing to do all they can to take part.
And they are laying down the challenge that, if they can do the walk in their 90s, then anyone can do it.
Kathleen said: “This statue means such a lot to so many families in Sheffield and further afield that we are determined to do all we can to raise the money.”
Entry is £10 for adults and £5 for children, with all money raised going to the Women of Steel Statue Appeal.
MAKE A DONATION: You can also donate to the Women of Steel Appeal at www.justgiving.com/womenofsteel.

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